While many in the mainstream press jumped at the opportunity to label Trump supporters as racist homophobes in the wake of the Jussie Smollett hate hoax, most at least qualified the “attack,” recognizing that Smollett was making allegations that had not been proven.
But not The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. The words “allegedly” or “reportedly” were completely dropped from his vernacular when he joined National Public Radio’s “1A” – funded by your tax dollars – on Friday. Capehart was absolutely sure that Smollett’s attack happened just the way the actor described, and that white, Middle American, Trump-supporting bigots were to blame.
“I think that for a lot of African Americans, it sent several signals. One, the noose around the neck is unmistakeable. It goes back to segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, the sort of domestic terror that was visited upon African Americans in the South. The fact that it [was] repeatedly said ‘This is MAGA country’ adds to sort of the atmosphere of menace that African Americans in particular and people of color in general have felt since the advent of the Trump administration, given the rhetoric from the campaign and out of the administration.
And then lastly, I would say the fact that Jussie Smollett is [a] famous African American, and that this happened in Chicago sends a clear signal, I think, to African Americans that there are people in this country who want to make it clear that no matter who you are, where you live, you are not safe.If an African American is not safe from racial violence in Chicago — racially motivated and homophobic, cannot leave that out, homophobic violence — in an urban center like Chicago, then you’re not safe anywhere.”
Note the timing: Capehart made these matter-of-fact statements on Friday, when the status of Smollett’s claims were already being questioned in the mainstream. The same day, a Chicago ABC News station had reported that Chicago Police believed the “attack” had been staged. Shouldn’t the status of the investigation have at least merited some consideration from Capehart?
BLP reached out to Capehart, but he did not return a comment request.
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